(Col. Cat. 11, 23, 27, 34, 46, 221, 222)
Born 1943, Serenje District, Zambia. One of Zambia’s most celebrated and accomplished artists. Attended Mzilikazi Art Centre, Zimbabwe. 1967, BA in Fine Arts, Makerere University, Uganda. MA degree Staatiliche Kunstakademic, Dusseldorf, Germany through German Academic Exchange scholarship. Active artist and art advocate who worked and served on many committees including Department of Cultural Services, Art Centre Foundation, International Artists Association, Lechwe Trust - of which he was a founding member. Resident artist and research fellow at the University of Zambia. His works highly sought after. Public artworks include “Bull”, a metal sculpture along the International Airport Road, Lusaka; and “Graduate”, the concrete sculpture at University of Zambia.
THE IRONY OF ‘DESTINY’ 1960 - 1965
It took Tayali five years painstakingly working the details on the monumental painting which has an interesting history.
Tayali was born in Zambia and moved with his parents to Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia. Tayali’s talent was spotted while still at school by Alex Lambeth of the Mzilikazi Centre. The painting ‘Destiny” was exhibited at the Mzilikazi centre in 1964 - 65. It was admired by Tim Gibbs, the son of Sir Humphrey Gibbs the then Governor of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. In 1966, when Tayali decided to return to Zambia he sold the paintings to Tim Gibbs.
In 1980, as soon as Zimbabwe gained Independence Tayali went back to find his painting and offered to buy it back. Although Gibbs refused, he promised to allow Tayali to borrow it for exhibitions. And so began its long journey through Lusaka, London (The Commonwealth Institute in 1983) on to Paris. ‘Destiny’ was reluctantly returned to the Gibbs family, who were then living back in Britain.
1989, after Tayali’s death, Mpapa Gallery put it on show at the Africa Centre in London, where it was seen by Cynthia Zukas the Chairperson of Lechwe Trust. After two years of protracted negotiations, the painting was finally purchased and successfully came home to Zambia to be part of the Lechwe Trust art collection.